Cheika commits through to 2019 Rugby World Cup

Matt Lewis Profile
by Matt Lewis

The Wallabies have locked in their man, securing coach Michael Cheika until the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Cheika agreed to a two-year contract extension 18 months before his current contract was due to expire.

Cheika led the Wallabies to their first Rugby Championship and a Rugby World Cup final in his first full year in the job, capping off 2015 by being named World Rugby Coach of the Year.

ARU CEO Bill Pulver was thrilled to have Cheika re-commit with the Australian Rugby.

Michael Cheika poses for a selfie with fans at the Rugby World Cup. ARU Media/Stu Walmsley

“We could not be more delighted to have secured Michael’s services as national coach until at least the end of the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019,” he said in a statement.

“Obviously his record as Qantas Wallabies coach over the past 18 months speaks for itself, but it’s the wonderful culture and a renewed pride in the gold jersey that Michael has instilled in the team which has laid the foundation for continued success.

“The performance of the Wallabies at the World Cup put rugby back on the map in a huge way in Australia and you cannot understate the influence Michael has had, along with his fine coaching team, in igniting the passion of Australian rugby fans with the way the team performed both on and off the field during the tournament.”

After getting a taste for international rugby, Cheika said he was looking forward to the challenges ahead.

Cheika kicks for goal at a RUgby World Cup training session. Photo: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley

“I never imagined I would be in the position of coaching Australia and feel extremely honoured to have the opportunity to continue on for the next period though to the end of the 2019 World Cup in Japan,” he said.

"Along with the other members of our team, I will be doing my absolute best to ensure that every game that the Australian Rugby team plays between now and then fills the nation with pride and all Australians can watch the Wallabies play in a way that Australians want to see rugby played.

“It is a privilege to be associated with the people involved with our national team and playing my part in establishing the Wallabies identity for the years to come and for many years after that."